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Space startups get their SVB assets back when Feds move in

Because of the decision of the federal government to guarantee all deposits at the failed Silcon Valley Bank (SVB), even those above the $250K limit set by the FDIC law, several space rocket startups are no longer threatened with failure, for now.

Astra for example is now seeking to move as quickly as it can its assets, equaling about 15% of the company, to other financial institutions.

I would expect this incident will cause every company to make sure their assets are distributed more widely, as a hedge against the failure of one bank.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Why would you expect that? If the government can just ignore the statutory $250,000 limit when it suits their purpose, why go to the bother of splitting hundreds of millions into 250K chunks with all the accounting work and liquidity issues that entails, when you can just put however much money you want into a bank with politically connected depositors?

  • markedup2: Heh. Point well taken. Essentially the whole situation is corrupt, and guaranteed to lead to a terrible fall eventually, for us all.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Astra is very lucky. 15% of $141M (based on SEPT 2022 numbers, with little income, probably less), this could have been very bad.

    Side note, they are not releasing their 2022 Q4 numbers until March 30th, one day before the statuary deadline. As a commenter on another forum said, that does not inspire confidence.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Astra reported on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2022, “conditions existed that raised substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern for a period of at least one year” from the Q3 results.

    “As a result of those conditions, which continue to exist as of the date of this Current Report, and the availability of the Company’s cash equivalents and marketable securities held with an affiliate of SVB and ease in which they can be sold and access to additional capital, there continues to be substantial doubt that the Company will have sufficient liquidity to fund its business operations in the next twelve months. ”
    -From the Form 8-K filed yesterday.

    They further stated that lease deposits on two of their facilities were secured with letters from SVB. If SVB goes belly up, the letters are useless, and they maybe in default on the leases.

    I think I saw another report that they had layoffs back in November. About 16% of workforce. They are getting by by the skin of their teeth right now, just to get Rocket 4.0 off paper and onto the launch pad. I am thinking only a heavy investment by NASA or USSF can get them across the finish line.

    The question is, should they. I am all for competition. I personally like Rocket Lab and Peter Becks vision. But the market must have competition. Right now there are many (Astra, Firefly, Relativity etc). In fact, I think there maybe too many. Part of competition means someone has to lose. The enthusiast in me wants to see them all win, but that is not realistic. Best case, in my mind is that there are a couple mergers, and some good solid companies emerge. There already tech swapping happening, like Firefly selling their Reaver engines to Astra.

  • Col Beausabre

    Markedup2. You took the words out of my mouth. It’s party time! Throw millions at anything!! The US taxpayer will make us whole!!! It’s “Heads I win, Tails you lose”. If I make a huge profit, it’s mine. If it’s a huge loss, it’s yours. SUCKERS!

  • sippin_bourbon

    Come on, COL, do you really think they are bailing them out to stop a bank crisis that may hurt the middle class, and put hundreds of thousands or more out of work and on the government dole?

    Or do you think they are bailing them out because most of their major donors (if not themselves) have either money in the bank (I had heard Oprah has a large account) or donors that are also heavily invested in some of the start ups.

    There are cynical reports that many of these tech firms are also from China. I do not discount this influence either.

  • sippin_bourbon

    One final comment on Astra. All of the filings indicate that SVB held 15 % of their cash/cash equivalents.
    At no time in the filings, that I can find, did they mention what that equates to in actual dollars. They are concealing this.

  • Alton


    There is Only 8,000 to 9,000 Billions setting unsecured in American Banks (over 250k).
    The Federal Reserve Balance sheet only has About 9,000 billion outstanding created dollars, which was slowly dropping the last six months.

    Two years ago the Fed created the overnight Repro Facility for banks to use Daily……4,000 to 5,000 billions more.

    And as if 3-12-23:
    The Federal Reserve began;

    Bank Term Loaning Program…

    Federal Reserve’s Bail Out Operations

    The Fed will give You Today whatever you need to payout to stop your bank run.

    You sign over your assets to the FEDERAL Reserve. Technically for One Year! Lol 😆

    Just created this weekend 3-12-23.

    Red Press Release:

  • Jeff Wright

    I don’t mind space start-ups being helped. Not Oprah though!

  • wayne

    Family Guy –
    “Stewie Griffin -> Where is my money?”

    “I’m just saying, it would probably we better for everybody if you had the money tomorrow…”

  • wayne

    Goodfellas (1990)
    “We Had A Problem…”

  • James Street

    The American people on the whole are so good and decent that they don’t comprehend how utterly corrupt the system has become. This wasn’t a bail out. It is a slush fund.

    “REVEALED: Only ONE member of failed SVB’s board had a career in investment banking – and the rest were Obama, Clinton mega-donors who ‘grieved’ when Trump won including one who went to Shinto shrine ‘to pray'”

  • MichiCanuck

    By guaranteeing all deposits, the Feds have in essence nationalized the entire banking industry. This process started by making money free (printing vast amounts of cash), which eliminated any incentives for banks to be prudent. By bailing out SVB ans Signature, the Feds are signalling that there will be no end to this, with the possible exception of small banks in Red States. Now there are no natural negative feedback mechanisms for the banking industry and we will have a fully centrally planned financial industry. Oh joy.

  • BLSinSC

    Imagine the RIOTS if PRESIDENT TRUMP did this! RACIST!! REPARATIONS for the BILLIONAIRES but not for the blacks!

    Is there ANY AREA of LAW that the biden bunglers won’t ignore to BUY VOTES?

  • Edward

    James Street’s linked article pointed out:

    [Silicon Valley Bank] has previously been accused of being too focused on woke issues.

    It puts reality to the phrase “go woke, go broke.” Previously, a woke company only lost customers, but now we see that companies can distract themselves from doing their business correctly. We could wonder whether major train wrecks have been due to similar distractions away from doing proper business practices. Is wokeness one reason for supply chain disruptions? Is our food supply still safe to eat?

    If the fears that this will spread panic throughout the country and results in a collapse in the banking industry, then we have a new phrase: “go woke, the country goes broke.”

  • David

    If you want to point the blame at anyone, point it at us, the American people. Those that don’t vote and those of us who do but insist on sending folks to D.C. who repeatedly fail the American people in favor of those who bought and paid for their attention.

    The financial industry has purchased the system they sought. And while it may not be popular to say here, there is a huge steaming pile of blame that rests with elected and appointed people from both sides of the political scene over the last few decades.

    The regulations that kept the U.S. banking system for decades following the Great Depression largely free from collapses like SVB have been eviscerated over the last 40 years. Cut by cut, good governance practice by practice. And most of the changes have been done with bipartisan support. The 2018 legislation brought to light this last week, was passed with support from both parties. And it is but one of several horrible bipartisan bills passed into law over that time that weakened oversight while simultaneously allowing banks to take bigger and bigger risks with their portfolios.

    So it seems to me, if we want to ever change things, we need to start by being unblinking in looking at this matter. It’s easier to point the stick at “the other party” but that is not going to solve one thing. How about sending more folks to DC. who will serve their constituents and not those with the money and power? Seems pretty straightforward!

  • Col Beausabre

    Just off the wires

    Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit Stops Operations

    Virgin Orbit Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: VORB) said it is halting all its operations from March 16, 2023. The company also conducts discussions with potential funding sources and explores strategic opportunities. The company expects the operational pause to continue through March 21, 2023. Richard Branson’s satellite launch company is furloughing nearly all its employees. Chief Executive Officer Dan Hart told staff that the furlough was to buy time for an investment plan to bring Virgin Orbit out of its financial crisis.

  • Edward

    David wrote: “If you want to point the blame at anyone, point it at us, the American people. … And most of the changes have been done with bipartisan support.

    Bipartisan support for laws only means that it does not matter which party is in power or which party we vote for, because we will still end up with the same laws in place. The conclusion is that it does not matter whether or not we vote, as the result is the same.

  • Edward

    Oh, my goodness. I think I found on YouTube the last ever SVB board meeting: (The Babylon Bee, “Every Woke Company Diversity Meeting Ever” 4 minutes)

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